Esmerling Vasquez Replaces Doug Slaten

Shortly after placing Stephen Drew on the disabled list and purchasing the contract of infielder Josh Wilson Sunday, the Arizona Diamondbacks made another roster move to shuffle their bullpen. Right-hander Esmerling Vasquez was recalled from Triple-A Reno, replacing left-hander Doug Slaten, who was optioned down to Triple-A.

Full Esmerling Vasquez Scouting Report

Doug Slaten was optioned to Triple-A Reno after having allowed three runs and six hits over four innings.  Slaten also struck out three batters and did not walk any, however.  Slaten had adjusted his arm angle from over-the-top to three-quarters this spring, and he needs to work on being more consistent with his new delivery.

"I haven't done what's been expected of me," Slaten said just before leaving the Diamondbacks' clubhouse. "And I'm not satisfied with it either. It's a good time for me to go down there and iron things out. This isn't the place to be doing that."

The move leaves Scott Schoeneweis as the lone southpaw out of the big league bullpen.  Schoeneweis' peripheral stats have been far worse than Slaten's have in the early going, unfortunately.  Slaten's three strikeouts and no walks or home runs allowed over four innings give him a 2.43 FIP, which is an estimation of ERA independent of defense and luck.  Conversely, Schoeneweis' three strikeouts, two homers, and one walk allowed over 6.2 innings has led to a bloated 6.63 FIP.

Esmerling Vasquez has been far tougher on right-handed batters than on lefties in his minor league career.  The former starter ranks among the team's best pitching prospects; ranked him 14th overall among Diamondbacks prospects last offseason before he endured a slow recovery from from a slight labrum tear he sustained in the 2007 Arizona Fall League.

Vasquez showed this spring that he has fully recovered by posting a 0.93 ERA with one save in six games for Reno.  He fanned nine batters in 9.2 innings while walking three, appearing to be far more comfortable in relief since his shoulder injury.

"It's my dream," Vasquez said of being called up. "It's just very exciting."

Vasquez or Bobby Korecky will likely get sent back down to Reno once the rehabbing Tom Gordon is declared ready to go.

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